Recommendations for great value/good quality spray gun for stain/lacquer/paint ? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 09-01-2014, 08:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Recommendations for great value/good quality spray gun for stain/lacquer/paint ?

My current professional level gun is quite old, it's tired and been cleaned enough that the needle has worn at the point.

I've also used the cheap as dirt models from harbor freight which are basically disposable @$9.99 each. Results could be better.

I think I'm in the market for a proper spray gun; I have a full home remodel starting and a theater build. I tend to spray a lot, because you might have a little willy if you paint with a brush. (I hate it)

I do have an airless graco paint sprayer which works ok, but it makes a gigantic mess, it's hard to control fine details, and it's big and cumbersome and a sloppy mess to clean after. It's really only for outdoor spray jobs with latex paints. It's not something I'd use for a delicate finish or for hard wood.

I would like a proper spray gun that would work equally well for latex interior paints (watered) and also for wood stain and clear gloss (poly or lacquer or whatever). I have a 30 gallon air compressor if that matters, but I'm contemplating getting a bigger tank and feeding it with two or three of my currently owned compressors (hidden in hush box) for faster performance. My new garage will have air lines and gang distribution on side walls and drop down from center ceiling for easy plug in. The compressors are all too noisy so a quick hush box in the corner of garage will be in order.

On a side note could I feed an auxiliary air tank with two compressors simultaneously ? I never tried that actually, but since I own three compressors and two of which will remain in garage I think it could make sense and speed up recovery times, time to fill, boost CFM etc..

I'd like to set up new garage to avoid the snake clutter of air hoses, a weekend to set it up right will pay me dividends for years.

Suggestions ?

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post #2 of 25 Old 09-01-2014, 09:20 AM - Thread Starter
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List of wants:

Ability to spray auto paints / oil based paints

Ability to spray lacquer/poly/clear coats

Ability to spray latex water based paints (with some degree of effectiveness even if it's not officially supported)

Reasonable CFM requirement

Replaceable parts / ability to procure in advance extra nozzle / needle / parts... etc. When I am balls deep in a project I need it to work. I tend to clean all the guns together (deep clean) every once in a while, so I might clean a few needles and spare parts all at once, and have a couple on hand ready to go at a start of a project so if I need to swap out I can and still keep going forward.

Affordable. I don't have thousands to spend on a set up here. I am looking for the best results for a moderate budget at the consumer / amateur level... but will let me reach towards nearly pro level results.

Disposable / replaceable reservoir paint cans. If I can buy a pack of them and not need to clean and just throw away when swapping paints that would be cool. I'd also like if possible a metal or plastic one, that I can use and reuse and clean as a back up.

Good amount of set up customization controls and adjustements and/or versatility to be used for many purposes. For instance I might want to use this for:

Spray on clear gloss on hard wood
Spray on wood stain or dye and rag wipe wood finishes
Spray on Latex indoor paint on trim
Spray on primer and black paint then clear for a piano black high gloss speaker box finish
Spray on duratex for subwoofer boxes
Paint my lawn mower tractor, auto body work, etc... color sand and clear coat.

I'd like a gun that is a jack of all trades I think. Or a kit that includes options for all of the above tasks.

Anyone have a recommendation for me ?

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post #3 of 25 Old 09-01-2014, 11:42 AM
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I've been of the thinking that most guns will outspray my ability. Which is to say, a $500 gun would probably make a difference to an experienced painter, but not so much to me.

There is an hvlp gun I was looking at on amazon that gets decent reviews.

The only thing I would do is add a PPS adapter and use the PPS cups.

I think we may have a few experienced sprayers on the forum, hopefully they can make some solid recommendations on a gun.

I've been using my $50 noname sprayer with good success. However, I think my abilities are starting to surpass the capabilities of the gun. It's still great for non-critical applications, but it was not the greatest when I refinished the kitchen.

Tim
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post #4 of 25 Old 09-01-2014, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
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What was the model on Amazon you are looking at ? Link ?

I don't want spend $500; but I want something better than the $9.99 harbor freight models.
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post #5 of 25 Old 09-01-2014, 01:12 PM
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The amazon sprayer I was looking at is here.

As long as you can live with the needles furnished I think it would be ok. I can't locate any additional needles.

If you step up to $100-200 you can get into a name brand and find parts easier. I just don't see the value for the limited spraying I would do. I could just buy another gun (not necessarily the same gun; I could buy a second with a different needle size or a touch-up gun).

Beyond $200 I would proibably just plunk down for a turbine system. That's just the point where I'd be all in and spend the mega bucks on a fuji or titan.

Tim
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post #6 of 25 Old 09-02-2014, 06:37 AM - Thread Starter
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That sprayer looks a lot like the $29 harbor freight model that with coupon goes as low as $9.99.
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post #7 of 25 Old 09-02-2014, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post
That sprayer looks a lot like the $29 harbor freight model that with coupon goes as low as $9.99.
Do you have a link? It's getting decent reviews. I never look at Harbor Freight, but I guess some of the stuff can be ok.

If you go in the $100-200 range you could get a 3m gun. $200-300 you can get a lower end SATAjet.

I guess it's just a matter of how much you are willing to invest. I've invested silly amount of money in tools I seldom use (eg a $1200 combustion analyzer). This just doesn't strike me as someplace I would invest a lot of money.

It may be someplace you feel is worth the investment. I will be waiting for the review of whatever you get!

Tim
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post #8 of 25 Old 09-02-2014, 07:34 AM - Thread Starter
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http://www.harborfreight.com/air-too...gun-67181.html


It goes on sales from $16.99 to $9.99 (bought one this weekend @ $9.99, with the $5.99 warranty to swap it out)
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post #9 of 25 Old 09-02-2014, 08:21 AM
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I'm curious how it works for you. Please let us know.

Now all you need is $150 in PPS cups and liners and you're good to go!

Tim
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post #10 of 25 Old 09-02-2014, 10:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Tim View Post
I'm curious how it works for you. Please let us know.

Now all you need is $150 in PPS cups and liners and you're good to go!

Tim
It's acceptable. I've owned 5 of these before.. I get a new one almost each major project. They are cheap enough to be disposable. Seriously.. $9.99 ??? Come on. It's complete and ready to go out of the box. Pour in paint and spray.

But I'd like something a tab bit better I think. I do enough spraying to warranty such a purchase.

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post #11 of 25 Old 09-02-2014, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
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I've used that gun at least 20 times, and for the price I would recommend it.

I think part of my problem is I don't understand what differentiates a $100 gun from a $30 one, or what you get for a $150 that you don't get with the others ?

Is there a good resource or web site to look at ?

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post #12 of 25 Old 09-02-2014, 01:30 PM
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Mfusic,
I painted cars in production shops for 15 years. Then, I managed the shop I had been at, for 6 years. I have painted thousands of cars. Take that for what it's worth.

Quote:
I think part of my problem is I don't understand what differentiates a $100 gun from a $30 one, or what you get for a $150 that you don't get with the others ?
Better atomization, flow control, transfer efficiency, (a necessity in the automotive market) much better quality of parts and machining. I don't think you will be replacing a "lower tier" professional spray gun every year, unless you are not cleaning/abusing them. Catalyzed products necessitate thorough cleaning after each use.
I don't know that you will get the CFM you need, with your setup...you will need to consult someone that knows compressor's much better than I. Even if you are adding tanks, you will need the throughput, and a quality pump. IMHO, motors are a dime a dozen, it's the pump that will make or break your system. Reserve tanks will help, but not if you are depleting them faster than you can fill them.

Now, none of that really matters if you are not worried about a production environment...which you are not. BUT...there is nothing worse than running out of air in the middle of your project. Sometimes you can't "just stop" when you are spraying. Especially when it comes to 2K/catalyzed products. Flash time, tack time, dry times are not "recommended"...they are constant. (given temps and humidity are such...)

Top of the line, and I wouldn't recommend for a "dabbler", would be Sata, or IWATA. I don't think you will see a Sata, or Inest/IWATA for $2-300.00. Unless it is used. You may want to look at Devilbiss, or Sharpe. (sub $200.00) Of those two, I would get a Devilbiss, but that is just preference. The "Finishline" series, is still a nice gun.

Also, I would advise against the "one gun that does it all" approach. Different products, and different substrates require a different approach.
Example: Primers, never touched my "clear gun". (they also require different tip sizes) Get a cheaper gun, for primers, Duratex, and latex with a 2.0 tip, and a nicer/more expensive gun, for clears, and nicer finishes. The last thing you want is a nice/expensive gun to get gummed up with bedliner spray...

I still have the guns that I painted with over 12 years ago...(one of them, an experimental Devilbiss, that introduced the world to the disposable bag system, which eventually became the PPS products). They may not be as competetive/efficient as today's models...but, I could pick them up and dial them in and do a complete auto, or a small project and have no trouble with any of them.
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Last edited by kevin g.; 09-02-2014 at 01:51 PM.
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post #13 of 25 Old 09-03-2014, 08:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow! Thanks for the really intelligent reply. I will check out those models you listed and report back.

Couple quick notes: I have a few air compressors, and with the smaller two I need to wait for it to charge up and fill then I can spray only for a while. I need to take breaks between sections because of CFM. The bigger compressor is no sweat, it's wonderful and my choice. But it's 220v and not portable at all, so it's a single location (my dad's garage) use only. I'd like to be able to spray in my garage too, which means two things.

I can either daisy chain both of my compressors together, run both at the same time, and have them fill an auxiliary air tank. Which means I'd have probably 50-60 gallon capacity, and double the CFM output with two compresors running- which should allow me to do any job I would ever do.


OR.

I can pony up and buy myself my own 220v high CFM larger air compressor (at the costs of thousands of dollars). It's on my wish list, but so is a new miter saw, a new table saw, etc... You have to pick your battles sometimes.

My question on the dual compressors was if I set each compressor to max PSI and then just had the hose hit a Y splitter and go into an aux tank, would both compressors kick on at the same time and fill it or run simultaneously ??? I never tried it, but I think my new garage is going to get a make shift compressor hush box in the corner, which I will put both machines in there, with an AUX tank, and I'll have the air hoses run in the walls with outlets on the side, and middle of ceiling. I use air tools enough to want to do something like that I think.

I totally hear what you are saying about a nice gun and not using latex and duratex on that. 100% agree. I'll stick to these cheap harbor freight models for the jobs that clog guns.

So I guess I am looking for a decent gun for clear (both auto and wood), auto paint, and wood stain. Can I do those with a single gun? My priority would be wood > auto. Does that change suggestions ?



And- anyone have insight on daisy chain two compressors into an aux tank ?

What is the typical PSI you need for most of these guns ?

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post #14 of 25 Old 09-03-2014, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post
Wow! Thanks for the really intelligent reply. I will check out those models you listed and report back.

Couple quick notes: I have a few air compressors, and with the smaller two I need to wait for it to charge up and fill then I can spray only for a while. I need to take breaks between sections because of CFM. The bigger compressor is no sweat, it's wonderful and my choice. But it's 220v and not portable at all, so it's a single location (my dad's garage) use only. I'd like to be able to spray in my garage too, which means two things.

I can either daisy chain both of my compressors together, run both at the same time, and have them fill an auxiliary air tank. Which means I'd have probably 50-60 gallon capacity, and double the CFM output with two compresors running- which should allow me to do any job I would ever do.


OR.

I can pony up and buy myself my own 220v high CFM larger air compressor (at the costs of thousands of dollars). It's on my wish list, but so is a new miter saw, a new table saw, etc... You have to pick your battles sometimes.

My question on the dual compressors was if I set each compressor to max PSI and then just had the hose hit a Y splitter and go into an aux tank, would both compressors kick on at the same time and fill it or run simultaneously ??? I never tried it, but I think my new garage is going to get a make shift compressor hush box in the corner, which I will put both machines in there, with an AUX tank, and I'll have the air hoses run in the walls with outlets on the side, and middle of ceiling. I use air tools enough to want to do something like that I think.

I totally hear what you are saying about a nice gun and not using latex and duratex on that. 100% agree. I'll stick to these cheap harbor freight models for the jobs that clog guns.

So I guess I am looking for a decent gun for clear (both auto and wood), auto paint, and wood stain. Can I do those with a single gun? My priority would be wood > auto. Does that change suggestions ?



And- anyone have insight on daisy chain two compressors into an aux tank ?

What is the typical PSI you need for most of these guns ?
The dual compressor thing can, and has been done. I don't know the specifics. I don't see them kicking on at the same time, and I would assume that you would need some kind of check valve in the system. And, the extra tank will definitely help. 19 CFM continuous, and up for automotive. (Spray guns, D.A.'s, grinders, etc...) I couldn't tell you about woodworking.

If you were doing more consistent work with the gun, I would tell you to get a different gun for each project. For automotive:
1. primer gun
2.sealer/color gun
3.Clear gun...(you would spend the most on the clear gun).
Atomization is key for the final 2. The color gun needs to be semi-nice, if you are spraying metallic/pearls. And then, a completely different gun for your woodworking projects. Obviously that's not feasible for the hobbyist. keep your rough surface gun for primers and Duratex, add a nicer gun for the rest just make sure you clean thoroughly between each substrate used. (even to the point of partial dismantling, if switching from auto use to woodworking projects). Keep a rebuild kit on hand for the gun, in case you damage one of the seals, while cleaning.

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post #15 of 25 Old 09-03-2014, 10:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah that all sounds like a great plan. I want a nicer gun, for nicer finishes- specifically clear and paint. My experience with wood stain is it's thin, and not much unlike auto paint or clear so it sprays more like those than something heavier like primer or latex. I think I want a nice moderate priced gun for clear/color/stain - with emphasis on clear (which I would use the most and it matters most to me).

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post #16 of 25 Old 12-21-2014, 04:57 PM - Thread Starter
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What is a good value/good performance gun for clear ? (Clear on wood).

Or a kit that does it all?

The more I think about it the more I think it makes sense for me to pony up and get a proper kit, that includes a few guns for different purposes, with different nozzles. Ideally I would like it to include a viscosity test kit and nozzles for thin, medium, thick. Or- three guns each with different purpose.

Is a viscosity test kit something you buy separately ? Where would I get? Or how I know which tip for which liquid ?
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post #17 of 25 Old 12-21-2014, 05:06 PM
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I think a quality gun will be a quality gun for most all finishes. Just change the needle/nozzle/aircap.

As for viscosity I think a plastic ford cup would be fine. Sure, you can spend $150 on a laboratory quality viscosity cup but I doubt it would be any more useful. When I was spraying the theater I just watched how the paint dripped off a wooden paint stick to judge the viscosity

Now.. I wouldn't paint my car like that..

The finish you are applying will usually tell you which tip to use. The General Finishes waterborne finishes tell you right on the can. Other than that it would just be a rule of thumb. I have guessed and sprayed with a needle that was too big.. the finish came out quick and heavy but I was able to counteract by working reealllllly fast A test shot would have made it very clear (no pun intended) but I am always in a rush.

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post #18 of 25 Old 12-22-2014, 08:29 AM
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this is probably the best value in paint sprayers:

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
this is probably the best value in paint sprayers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhfTpXvIqXs
I just p*ssed my pants laughing! The Hillbilly sprayer model. Love it. Exhale only....
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post #20 of 25 Old 12-23-2014, 06:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
this is probably the best value in paint sprayers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhfTpXvIqXs
Lol

Where donyou find this stuff ?
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Probably just fine, for the amount of use you will be putting it through...
The 1.8 tip gun is nice for primers, and depending on the atomization/transfer efficiency, the 1.4 tip gun will be acceptable as well. The stand, wrenches, regulator and brush are all necessities, and as such a definite bonus in this package. Probably least used will be the touchup. You may get it out for smallish speaker builds, but dialing back on the topcaot gun will yield better results anyways...

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What kind of paint should I be using for a 1.4 tip ?
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post #24 of 25 Old Yesterday, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post
What kind of paint should I be using for a 1.4 tip ?
The finer tips were developed to spray pearls and fine metallic automotive finishes. Any kind can be thinned correctly to spray through that fine of a tip...Latex may be a bit extreme for the 1.4, but it should spray ok through the 1.8.

The 1.4 would work nicely for your stains and PU clears for woodworking. Not much would be needed to get the right viscosity... just dial in the gun.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin g. View Post
The finer tips were developed to spray pearls and fine metallic automotive finishes. Any kind can be thinned correctly to spray through that fine of a tip...Latex may be a bit extreme for the 1.4, but it should spray ok through the 1.8.

The 1.4 would work nicely for your stains and PU clears for woodworking. Not much would be needed to get the right viscosity... just dial in the gun.
Ok thanks ! I might give this cheap kit a try and see what I think. Price seems pretty good.
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